‘For with Thee is the fountain of life’ (Psalm 36:9)
Of course in this passage “Thee” is referring to God. But God is also the Truth: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6).
Today there is a great attack against the Truth of God. And thus, a great number of people believe to have found the “fountain of life”, but instead it was offered to them the truth (“t”) and not the Truth (“T”) which come from Jesus, the Truth! The damage to souls due to this swapping of the Truth (of God) for the “truth” (of relativism) is enormous!
“The Truth (of God) will make you free!” (Jn 8:32). But the truth of relativismo will make us slaves in the worst way after a little pleasure outside of the Holy and saving Will of God!
You might revisit, among others:
“Who Decides The Truth?” (http://spir-food.blogspot.it/2014/06/who-decides-truth.html)
“Spiritual Food 1410” (http://wordbelife.blogspot.it/2014/10/john-635.html)
Read also below, after the P:S., the meditation:
“THE CHURCH, THE MOVEMENT AND THE CURRENT TIMES”
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An Experience of Life:
Last year a girl in my school told me that she had a sexual relationship with a guy that she encountered on facebook, but had never met before.
I had previously tried to dissuade her from doing this, telling her that it was not the right thing and that she was loosing something very important. I could not do anything else, but she did not changed her mind, still not understanding the consequences of her choice. I was very sorry. This year, being in the same school, I tried not to lose her friendship, even though I did not agree with some of her ideas. One day - I really did not expect it – she came to me and said: "You know, I realize now that last year I made a stupid choice. I have regretted it, now I have another consideration about my body."
At that moment I realized that I was not wrong to have proposed to her a different view, neither had it been useless. This experience made me realize that we should not lose hope, even when we are the only ones to present certain truths.
Riccardo , Italy
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Father Joseph Dwight
As you know, I am a member of the Marian Movement of Priests. During the International Spiritual Exercises, at Collevalenza – Sanctuary of Merciful Love (Madre Speranza), June 22-28, 2008, Father Michael Gaughran offered to over 200 priests and to over 10 bishops of the movement these words in a meditation, with the title of the meditation, “The Church, The Movement and the current times”:
Marian Movement of Priests
International Retreat, Collevalenza, 2008
The Church, The Movement and the current times
(Draft of the first meditation prepared in English by Father Michael Gaughran for spiritual exercises which are held annually at the Shrine of Merciful Love at Collevalenza (Italy), and here translated into Italian. The dates are when Father Stefano Gobbi received the interior locution from Our Lady.)
THE CLOUDS ARE GATHERING
[We have come to this point]
(We have put in square brackets the additions and/or corrections made by hand by Father Michael.)
Brethren, it is time to talk seriously.
We are going through a period in which many perceive the presence of a threatening atmosphere, both for the Church and for the world. On the one hand they have that threat to the Church herself, of which our Mother has so often warned us about, and for which she offers us there a remedy in the second commitment of the Movement (unity with the Holy Father), that the circular letter of Father Gobbi mentioned. But there's that other sense of threat perceived by many, the general breakdown of society, of morals and of the order in the world. Those of us who are diocesan clergy in touch with the anxieties of our people, know well who much this uneasiness is diffused. The fact is that we are in very serious times. [Is this the time when our mother will lead us out in the open? Only she can let us know. But we have to be ready.] This is why the right of God to rule in His own kingdom is seriously challenged, and we have entered the time of decisive conflict in which that challenge must be resolved. These are our times, times extremely serious for which the Marian Movement of Priests was founded by our Mother, and in which we find our vocation in the Church.
This being the case, it is essential to have a clear idea of what we are and what our Mother expects to receive from us.
Our Mother has described these times in this way:
"Today we live in dark times, because they are trying to reach in every way to compromise between God and Satan; between good and evil; between the spirit of Jesus and the spirit of the world. Many are in danger of becoming victims of this general confusion and even in my Church they would like to spread a false spirit, which is not that of Jesus the Son of God.
Like an invisible toxic cloud expands the spirit of mixing between God and the world, and it arrives to the point of taking away the force to the Word of God, stripping away the strength of the proclamation the Gospel" (December 8, 1982).
One must never read these words in a hasty manner, because they describe for us the true dimensions of the attack that was launched against the Church, which we were called to defend with all our weakness and poverty. If you do not let ourselves be penetrated by the seriousness of what she is telling us, the answer to our Mother will be, at best, below what is needed. When we read in the words of our Mother that they are trying to reach a compromise between the things of God and the things of Satan, it is clear that what is planned is nothing less than a complete demolition of the Church in our times. [total destruction. In the East, demolition] [8 dicenihre 1975].
Our Mother speaks of a kind of toxic cloud that generates confusion everywhere, in all that is good, and which stifles the spirit of Jesus in His people; and this we can see in the confusion in doctrine and morals that are taught in the Church by educated people, producing a vision of the Church that has nothing to do with the Church of Jesus Christ. This obscures the clarity of vision of men, depriving them of the ability to discern right from wrong, to see the distinctive good that comes from Jesus, the Word of God, from that which is human and inspired by the devil. A total demolition, in which an entity known as the Catholic Church will continue to exist, with all its outward appearance, rituals and vestments, and ways of working and exercising an authority, but without the supernatural trace of the teaching of Jesus. It will be the exponent of the works of Satan. As we have said they will try to oust God from His own creation and eliminate His right to reign in His own kingdom. Regarding all of this we can already say that we have been testimonies, in the light of the prophetic messages given to us by our Mother, while we have contemplated the progress of confusion, the lack of discipline, the division and persecution and, at times, even the rebellion in the Church, up to a point that we would not have thought possible.
It will be, as one hopes, the completion of the challenge or boasting of Satan, as we are told by the prophet Isaiah:
"How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High’.” (Is 14:12-14).
[This is the desire of the adversary: the direct worship to himself]
Of course then the prophecy tells of the consequences of this arrogance:
“But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. 16 Those who see you will stare at you, and ponder over you: 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, 17 who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?' 18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb; 19 but you are cast out, away from your sepulcher, like a loathed untimely birth” (Is 14:15-19).
A terrible attack, which causes immense damage, which culminates in the defeat of the evil one. We are before the prophecy of the Antichrist, and this is the nature of our times and the times of this Movement. It was entrusted to us in these times, as a Movement of her priests, a special responsibility, and it is necessary that we strive to understand the great seriousness of involvement in which we find ourselves; otherwise we will not have that determination of heart needed to be fully engaged. One finds this in the messages.
These things are not very diffused [in public] by the high authority of the Church (presumably so as not to appear alarmists), but even so Cardinal Karol Wojtyla shows us a sign of how they are alive and dear to the heart of the Church, November 9, 1976, a few months before being elected as Pope John Paul II:
Today we are facing the biggest battle that mankind has ever seen. I do not think that the Christian community has fully understood this. Today we are facing the final battle between the Church and the anti-church, between of the Gospel and the anti-gospel. "[It is worth asking: do we know that many do not believe this?]
The coming of the Antichrist and the man of iniquity. How else to interpret the words of the future pope, "the Church and the anti-church, the Gospel and the anti-gospel'': the final battle against the very Word? In a Movement like ours, so closely involved, such words must not be read but absorbed and taken to heart. In one of the earliest messages our Mother she tells us:
"What must these my sons, formed by me, now do, called and for the first time gathered together? They must be prepared, they must be ready: - For my orders, because soon I will call them and they will all have respond to me, ready to be used by Me to extreme defense of my Son, of Me, of the Gospel and of the Church.
They will be the salt in a world fully corrupted and the light in the darkness that has invaded everything. - To strive, because my Adversary will unleash his army against them and fight with them and will pursue them with a frightening combat. They will be ridiculed, despised, persecuted and some even killed. But I will always be with them and I will protect them and defend and comfort them, wiping each of their tears as only a mother know how. - To defend the Pope, already so alone to carry the cross of the Church; but the time will come when, like Jesus on the way to Calvary, he will be abandoned by almost everyone. Then these children of mine will be his comfort and his defense, and they will win with Me with the greatest battle of the Church" (September 23, 1973).
The ''extreme defense of my Son", "the greatest battle of the Church ", words that echo those of Cardinal Wojtyla. One has the impression of having arrived. I would say that these are the times of the great conflict with the anti-christ, the times for which our Mother has prepared us.
While this battle is described in terms which seem to imply even physical violence and force, and indeed this is not excluded (we can think of our own Servant of God, Father Nazarene, as well as others), we are talking about something much deeper and more subtle. We are dealing with the interior of the heart of humanity and of the Church, which is at stake. Nor should we look at this as something that concerns only the future. For years the silent assault is taking place. It is a direct assault against the Church at every level, but the attack which primarily regards us in the Marian Movement of Priests is, of course, the one directed against the priests. This is the most important part of the attack, and we can offer our compliments to the devil by saying that he knows his infernal job well! While it is true that we priests remain poor human beings invested with powers infinitely greater than we are, the fact is that we carry in our hands, in the sacraments of Life, the salvation of the world and the total response to the work of the devil: we bring Jesus Christ our Savior, living and working in us. He understands the Church and her spiritual reality better than any of us, and He is well aware that if one causes serious damage to the priesthood, or even if one succeeds in removing one priest from the exercise of his vocation, one inflicts serious damage. Here it is not necessary to repeat the horrendous statistics of the loss of priests and religious which occurred mainly after the Second Vatican Council, but the fact is that there was an attempt to strip the Church of a great number of her priests. But it is not simply a matter of numbers.
[IT IS AN ATTACK ON THE TRUTH OF GOD.]
It grew gradually. It is enough to think of a subtle change that happened around the time of the Second Vatican Council. With the arrival of the “experts” there developed the fashion of theologians (Note 1), regardless of whether or not they deserved the name; the fact that they had published a book, in general that was enough. This continues and, with this, the center that guides the Church in the minds of many, has shifted from where God had placed it, in the hierarchy, the Pope and the bishops in union with him, and became the various opinions of all sorts of writers. [The students collected the books.] So, this has had an impact not only on the priests, but also on seminarians in many universities. This is the first part of the attack: the attack on the truth of God, the foundation of the Church.
Then let us think about another weapon used by our enemy: the attempt to undermine the discipline for which the Church has always been known. Its members always considered themselves linked among each other by the reins of obedience, and this was its protection. It is rooted in the certainty that the Church is ultimately governed by the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, led by His Holy Spirit, and not just by men, however intelligent, but you could say that, if we thought that the fulcrum of the guidance of the Church - as we have just said - had become the thoughts and opinions of theologians, then it would follow that the Church is founded on human opinion and not on Divna Revelation. [Every man would become pope himself.] This is perhaps the extreme damage that has been inflicted on the Church. The denial, however implicit, of the Holy Founder and His continued presence in the Church through his Holy Spirit, the guide of all. Exclude God from His Church and you have demolished the Church, even thug she may continue to adapt the same outward adornments.
This is the serious truth that underlines these words of our Mother:
"How many of you have stopped to consider His Word. They wanted to penetrate and understand it only with their own human intelligence and have thus inadvertently fallen into the most grave errors. It is not by human intelligence alone that the Word of my Son is to be read. He thanked the Father for having hid the mysteries of His kingdom from the wise and prudent of this world in order to reveal them unto the little ones. It is above all with inner humility, with full docility of the soul, that His Word is to be read and understood. For this, my Son entrusted the authentic interpretation solely to the Magisterium of the Church. This in order to accustom yourselves to this difficult, yet so necessary, attitude of humility and inner docility.
If you will be united to the Magisterium of the Church, if you will be humble and attentive to what She indicates to you, you will always remain in the truth of the Word of Jesus.
Today more and more in the Church there is spread error and it seems by now that there is no more suitable dike to contain it. It is spread above all by many theologians; it is spread by my poor Priest sons. How, today, in the Church, can you be certain to save yourselves from error? Look at my Son crucified and you will be faithful. My Son Who, being God, became obedient unto death on the Cross. Look at His thorns, look at His blood, look at His wounds: they are open flowers on the pain of His obedience.
My dearest children, now that the darkness engulfs everything, you are called to bear witness to the light of complete obedience to the Church: to the Pope and to the bishops united with him" (April 13, 1976).
The lack of discipline arising from a disunity towards the Holy Father and a loss of supernatural perspective in understanding the role of the Church as a teacher, leaves man in the throes of ways of thinking and behaving in ways foreign to the Church. Let us recall the words of Pope Paul VI cited for us by the spiritual director at the beginning of the Blue Book:
"What strikes me, when I consider the Catholic world, that is, within Catholicism, there seems to predominate sometimes a type of non-Catholic thought, and it may come about that this non-Catholic thought, in the inside of Catholicism, might become tomorrow the strongest thought. But i twill never represent the thought of the Church."
Yes, that thought [not Catholic] is in the Church, although coming from outside of the Magisterium; it is alien to her because it is not touched by grace.
Brethren, this is what happened in our Church. Let us be careful to see that the real evil is found not only in disobedience to particular commands, but in the entire attitudes. Our Mother refers to the need to be obedient to the Church even in those things that may seem like small issues, such as wearing the clergyman’s suit. It is not at stake the materale importance of what is required of us, but the question of levity, not to say indifference, in the way in which authority is considered and is set aside. Let us return to the need to see the authority of the Church in supernatural terms, and in the presence of the Lord which underlines the duty of obedience.
[THE SUPERNATURAL NATURE OF THE CHURCH]
Sadly, this lack of the sense of the supernatural has been the cause for some to neglect the seeking of the presence of God in their lives. No doubt, if a man does not lead a life centered on prayer, he can not lead a life as a good priest; such as: how can he properly live and act in the Person of Jesus, if he neglect to seek a union of spirit, alive and humble, with Him? Our Mother warns us about this:
"It is indiscipline, the lack of inner docility to God's will, which manifests itself in breach of your obligations of your state in life; the obligation of prayer, of good example, of a holy and apostolic life.
How many there are, among the priests, who let themselves be absorbed in disorderly activity and no longer pray! The habitually neglect the Liturgy of the Hours, the meditation, the recitation of the Holy Rosary. The limit the prayer to a hasty celebration of the holy Mass.
So these my poor children become internally emptied and have more light and strength to resist the many temptations in the midst of which they live. They are thus contaminated by the spirit of the world and accept its way of life, sharing its values, participating in its secular manifestations, they let themselves to be conditioned by its means of propaganda, and eventually they are covered by its same mentality. Then they end up living as ministers of the world, according to its spirit, which they justify and spread, causing scandal among many believers.
From here is born the widespread rebellion against the canonical norms that govern the life of Priests and the recurrent protest against the obligation of celibacy, desired by Jesus through His Church, and that in these it has been again firmly reaffirmed by Pope" (February 2, 1979).
This message merits a special reflection on the part of all of us, since it contains a wealth of analysis of the situation in the Church today, as a result of the enraged attack by our enemy. But I think we should pay special attention to the sad reference of our Mother to the state of scandal caused among the people. It is true that the attack comes from the enemy, and is primarily directed against the priests - a terrible satanic initiative - but even so we must say that the cooperation that he has received came from the priests, and is not the fault of the laity. Not that everyone might be perfect, and there is need of good pastors, but there has been a lack among many priests a lack of spiritual guidance owed to our people. There is a considerable sense of scandal in the Church today by good believers, in seeing the shortcomings and the divisions among priests and the disloyalty to the Holy Father. We must remember, as our Mother has just told us, that they are ordained to be servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not ministers of the world. [We can look at the events of recent years - pedophilia, prestige, opulence - mentioned in the Act of Consecration].
In looking at what we have said, we see taking form that which regards the purpose of the Marian Movement of Priests in the battle declared by our enemy. We have seen, in the first place, the attack on the truth of God and the alienation from the Magisterium which has been brought to many through a false concept of freedom. At the base there has been a loss of the supernatural sense of the Church, that is, the recognition of the presence and the hand and of the conducting authority of Jesus Christ our Lord. She is debased to the level of human society, subject to every whiff of human opinion. The Roman Catholic Church has, as one of its characteristic signs, that of being HOLY, precisely because of this presence and of this divine activity.
Against this division and alienation, our Mother demands of us the commitments that we assume in the Movement. In these days, in his circular letter for this year, as well as in what he chose to speak about in his retreat, Don Stefano paused on the second of those commitments: the union with the Pope and the hierarchy united with him. In this aspect, our Mother has offered to us the necessary refuge to escape from the alienation from the Truth of which we have spoken, for the Lord has granted us the truth through the person of the Holy Father, His guardian. together with the hierarchy united with him. Then she asks us to form this union in the Truth in those souls that are entrusted to our pastoral care, spreading the spirit of consecration to her Immaculate Heart among the faithful.
That unity she seals in the first of our commitments: the consecration to her Immaculate Heart. That heart she promised us as a refuge in the storms that surround us ("My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God"), and, in entrusting ourselves to her heart, we offer ourselves to be nourished by her holiness, by her knowledge, by her wisdom, so that we live a life that is hers, because it is lived with her and in her.
It is here that we find the gift that our Mother is doing for her Son in the battle in which the Church is involved. We have said that the attack is subtle, directed against the inner or the heart of the Church.
["Fear not, I repeat: you are mine and Satan will not touch them. You are in my garden and no one will snatch you from my Immaculate Heart.
The hour has arrived, thug, in which you will be called much greater sufferings: persecution, imprisonment, for some the offering of your life. Soon you will have to live moments that you could not withstand if next to you there was not your Mother.
Now you must prepare yourselves. For this, today, with solicitude I ask from you only docility, prayer and suffering" (February 11, 1978).]
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When Pope John Paul II replied bluntly in response about many bishops who do not believe in the Devil: “Anyone who does not believe in the Devil does not believe in the Gospel”, the Vatican's chief exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, was asked in his interview of 2001: “Again, ARE YOU SAYING THAT MANY BISHOPS AND PRIESTS ARE NOT, CONSEQUENTLY, CATHOLIC?” Amorth replied: “Let us just say that they do not believe a Gospel truth. So, if anything, I would stop them propagating a heresy. But, to be clear about this, a person is officially a heretic if he or she is accused of something and persists in the error. No one today, given the situation in the Church, is accusing a bishop of not believing in the Devil, or in demonic possession or of failing to appoint exorcists because he does not believe. And yet I could give you the names of so many bishops and cardinals who, on their appointment to a diocese, stripped exorcists of their faculty to perform the rite. Or there are bishops who openly say they don’t believe, that these are things of the past. Why is that? UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE HAD THE INSIDIOUS INFLUENCE OF CERTAIN BIBLISTS and I could mention some illustrious names. We who are in daily physical contact with the ‘other world’ know that this influence is evident in numerous liturgical reforms. (For example?) The Second Vatican Council asked that some texts be revised. Disobeying this command, they set about re-writing them completely with no thought for the danger of making things worse instead of better. So many rites came off badly from this mania to throw out the old and start from scratch, as if the Church to date had always conned us and as if only now the time had at last come of the great geniuses, the super theologians, the super-biblists and the super-liturgists who know what the right thing is for the Church. This is a lie: the last Council simply asked that the texts be revised, not destroyed.” (http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=2879; http://www.vaticans.org/index.php?/archives/61-An-interview-with-the-Vaticans-chief-excorcist,-Father-Gabriele.html).